Cardiff City will join Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League next season after winning promotion on the final day of the Championship season.
Neil Warnock’s side needed to win to guarantee promotion back to the top flight, though they could only draw 0-0 at home to relegation-threatened Reading on a frustrating afternoon at the Cardiff City Stadium.
However, frustration soon turned to elation when news filtered through that promotion rivals Fulham had fallen to a surprise 3-1 defeat against Birmingham City – cementing Cardiff’s ascension back into the Premier League after a four-year absence.
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) May 6, 2018
Despite failing to win automatic promotion, Fulham will get another shot via the playoffs. Slavisa Jokanovic’s side will face Derby County in the two-legged semi-final. Derby, who themselves were not assured of a playoff spot before their 4-1 win against Barnsley, finished sixth in the table.
Middlesbrough sealed fifth place with a 96th-minute Patrick Bamford equaliser against Ipswich, and they will come up against Aston Villa for a place in the final at Wembley.
At the bottom, meanwhile, Sunderland’s relegation had already been confirmed (though they signed off in style by beating champions Wolves 3-0 at the Stadium of Light), but there were still two more places to be decided.
Bolton, who started the day in 23rd place, pulled off a miracle comeback against Nottingham Forest at the Macrom Stadium. Trailing 2-1 in the 87th minute, two goals in as many minutes from David Wheater and Aaron Wilbraham saw the Trotters secure a 3-2 win and climbed out of the bottom three as a result.
Barnsley and Burton Albion, both of whom fell to defeats, were relegated to League One.